Re: Ignition Help
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Re: Ignition Help

Paul, by chance do you have an old distributor cap you can sacrifice?  If so, drill a hole about the size of a quarter into the cap between the coil wire terminal and the number one cylinder terminal, then set it all up and try to start the motor, peeking into hole in the cap while it is cranking.  This will give great insight regarding the spark sizzling across to #1 while cranking.

The process is actually to correct rotor phasing but I am thinking it might help you here...

Thank you,


On Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 9:47:31 AM UTC-5, majorbluemax wrote:
Thanks Paul, The spark is coming from the coil wire, inserted into the coil and 1/2 from ground. Good clean blue/white spark that sounds like a power line down when it arcs. Both distributors produce the same results. There only two wires coming into the distributor and both connect to the MSD box and both are shielded and I verified that they aren't grounding. Your question regarding the grounding (shorting the pickup) is reasonable and the only logical change regarding the distributor being in or out of the engine. I was going to pull the dist again and put electrical tape on every contact surface of the distributor housing and then realized that there is no way to prevent the drive gear from grounding the shaft. I appreciate and value the feedback. T  

From: 'Paul L.' via The 1962 to 1965 Mopar Mail List Clubhouse <>
To: The 1962 to 1965 Mopar Mail List Clubhouse <>
Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2018 8:21 AM
Subject: Re: Ignition Help

Let me preface by saying that I am not the top mechanic in this crew by a long shot, but.....Can you clarify, with the distributor out where are you detecting spark,  at the spark plug end of the plug wire?  Are the electrical internals of the distributor being grounded somehow while it is installed?

Paul L.

On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 5:57:39 PM UTC-6, majorbluemax wrote:
Folks, I've been away for awhile, travelling extensively and trying to wrap up some business so I could re-retire and now that has been achieved. I can focus on a no start condition on my Satellite.

I need some technical assistance and I'm going to rely on the extensive experience of this group so here's what I know so far regarding the very expensive boat anchor parked in my garage. Baseline: 65 Satellite, 440 engine, 4 speed. Mopar electronic ignition system, orange box, worked successfully for years.

No start condition, turning over fine-started a long time ago with a difficult cold start. It would fire after cranking for awhile. Initially I thought it was no fuel in the fuel line due to flowing back toward the tank. It only happened when it sat for a week or two and only with the engine cool. Got progressively worse and when I tried to start it to haul it to the Goodguys in Ft Worth a month ago it would not light off at all.

Condition is no spark while cranking. Tried another ignition switch, wired around the new wiring and verified voltage at all the appropriate spots. Battery is hot at 13.3 volts. So far I have replaced the coil (Blaster 2), distributor and control box. Nothing changed. Have heard in this group that there had been issues with the Mopar systems so I bit the bullet and ordered an MSD Ignition box (6AL). No change. Ran diagnostics on the MSD box and it checked out. Eliminated the ballast resistor per MSD, wired the small MSD red wire direct to a 12 volt source. I replaced the coil wire. I pulled the Mopar distributor out of the engine and spun it with the key on and it throws an arch you can weld with. Leaving everything wired the same as it was during the test, bolted it back in position and no spark. Put the old distributor back in with the same results. Verified the rotor turns when the engine is cranking and the drive gear and cam are in good shape. On the phone with MSD tech and he advised spinning the distributor by hand while someone cranked the engine to see if we had a severe voltage drop not allowing the system to fire (battery is in the trunk). It still threw a flame (and knocked the %^&% out of me when my wife didn't turn the ignition back off). I think I know what a tazer feels like now.

I'm convinced it is the distributor (2 of them?) but why does it work out of the engine and not while in it? I'm hoping one of can reach into your experience file and guide me out of the darkness, otherwise I'm going to order a new MSD distributor and wires and add another $500 to my investment. I'm still not sure that will even get it done. I've got a lot of experience with cars and never had one beat me like this one has. Grateful for any help. Thanks. Travis
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